Are We Witnessing The End Of An Era?

There is an old Chinese curse that goes: “May you live in interesting times.”

It is aimed at impatient people; people who are bored; people who want change for the sake of change.

The implication is that although you may hate the status quo, you would be wise to beware of what comes after.

When the third goal went in up at Everton I had a strong feeling that we may be witnessing the end of era.

And not just any era. When the end of the Arsene Wenger era comes it will be the footballing equivalent of the Fall of Rome.

Compared with M. Wenger’s tenure, the reigns of other football managers are mere hillocks in the landscape of history. Wenger’s reign is a mountain – an elegant, ice-capped peak whose stature is rivaled only by the craggy, fractured slopes of Mount Fergie – a once-thunderous volcano now sitting sullenly dormant.

Why did I wonder if we were watching the end of this era?

Because it seemed unfair to ask him to take much more of this punishment: to watch his team (and by extension himself) humiliated again; to know the vitriol and hatred that would inevitably follow; to turn up to work the next day and have to start all over again.

If we fail to beat Wigan this weekend I now feel he will call it quits at the end of the season.

If we get to the Cup Final and lose, ditto.

If we win the Cup and finish fifth… again, ditto.

If we win the Cup and finish fourth… well, that’s a tougher one but I still suspect he will call it a day. He will see out his contract as he famously always does. And then he will bid us all farewell.

Few of us would blame him. Few of us could take the incessant criticism and abuse without it seriously affecting our mental health and our sense of our own worth. The fact that he has stuck it out this long is a testimony to his fortitude and intelligence.

But when he is driven out of the club to which he has contributed so much, we will be entering “interesting times.”

There is a lazy assumption that we will snap up some hotshot young manager who will immediately achieve the success that has eluded M. Wenger. Not so long ago the people who advocated this approach were all for us bringing in Michael Laudrup or Paul Lambert. Or even Andre Villas Boas, heaven help us.

Well, if Arsene Wenger quits we should prepare for a rocky road.

Yes, we could do an Everton. We could find a younger manager who lifts us to another level, but there is a greater likelihood of us doing a Manchester United.

And it will not take too long before people start looking back on the Wenger Era with nostalgia and affection.

This is not a Post about whether or not he should go. For the record I think he should stay because I believe that with a proper transfer budget this summer building on the excellent squad we currently have he can again fashion a team of champions.

If we flattered to deceive at times this season with our table-topping run, the heavy away defeats to big teams are equally an unfair reflection of our capabilities.

However I can understand those who feel his time is up, that the failings have become chronic and beyond his ability to fix. I am happy to accept that he is far from perfect: that he should have bought another striker in January; that he should have got to the bottom of our injury issues by now and much more.

Many decent and respectful Gunners have now reluctantly come to the conclusion that he should go. They tend to be drowned out by the clamour of the ignorant and the abusive who express similar sentiments in unacceptable ways.

And we are fast approaching the time, I fear, when these people will get their way.

I am not looking forward to it.

However, for now I will make a particular point of appreciating our manager whatever the results, whatever we achieve or fail to achieve in the remainder of the season.

These may be his last days and I will give them the respect they and he are due. It’s more important than winning and losing.

After one of our recent heavy defeats a better man than me had this to say:

Football is only truly a business to those who A, rely on it for their salary or B, own shares in it. For the rest of us it is either a passion, a way of life or in many cases a family tradition.

“For me it has been a distraction and motivation through life that has taken my mind off business and filled the boring hours on uncountable motorways and airports and created opportunities to meet and make friends on many a terrace and in many places when I would have been lonely without it.

“Funny game football, which is why I find it amusing that so many of us who have no first hand experience of the business called AFC feel qualified to pass judgement on the course and direction of an entity for which we have no first hand knowledge. Even the mighty guardians entrenched in the fourth estate pontificate their perceived wisdom based on at best second hand information or at worst self published claptrap. As for living in the past – knowledge is gained through experience and what we see today is often relevant to the history of which we are all part.”

But then dandan always did have a way of finding the right words to encourage the better angels of our nature.

RockyLives

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

206 Responses to Are We Witnessing The End Of An Era?

  1. Rasp says:

    Oh Rocky, there have been many things written on this site that have stopped me in my tracks these last few days …. great sentiments, great comments, great perception, great humanity.

    Your article today (one of your best by my estimation) is the pinnacle.

    In truth I don’t know what to think any more … but the old truism stands ….. the more I know, the more I know I don’t know.

  2. hassan quam says:

    good one…i think our progress this season has been overshadowed by those heavy defeats

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good God Rocky

    “an elegant, ice-capped peak whose stature is rivaled only by the craggy, fractured slopes of Mount Fergie – a once-thunderous volcano now sitting sullenly dormant”

    You’ve been on the poetry haven’t you. Superbly written post, thank you.

    For me era’s end and they always herald a new dawn. No problem at all.

  4. […] article has been curated from Arsenal Arsenal by Rocky for your reading pleasure. Please visit Arsenal Arsenal for […]

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think the worst scenario in any situation is uncertainty.

    I think everyone knows Arsene will either not sign up, and therefore leave in the summer, or re-sign for perhaps a couple of years or so.

    I just wonder whether he, or his employers, already know the answer.

  6. kelsey says:

    As usual you are the ace writer on AA, Rocky.

    I honestly don’t know what to think anymore.

    Social media didn’t exist when SAF went years without a tophy.Does it really have any signifigence at to the sacking of a manager ?

    As you can see that next to Wenger the longest seving manager in the PL is Alan Pardew, do I need to say anymore

    I don’t want Wenger to be humiliated and I honestly believe that his directive up to now was to achieve a top 4 place but having full control and the players not being motivated is a concern.

    Good players that play as a unit,need little or no management. Training is another matter.

    We have just given new long term contracts to Ramsey and Santi and the nucleus is there to strengthen the squad and money is available moreso than at any time in a decade.

    It gets more complex with many players leaving or out of contract and Sagna I still believe should stay,but no word either way.vermaelen our club captain was a extremely good player and has completely lost form or confidence or can’t play Bould’s high line, who knows.. Some will be missed others not.

    My gut feeling is that AW and the Board have already discussed what will happen at the end of the season,but I won’t speculate..

  7. kelsey says:

    I was typing when your comment went up Micky, and it appears we are thinking on the same lines,re your last paragraph.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, let’s be clear.

    Raddy thought AVB was a good Manager 🙂
    Lambert? Mmm, probably GiE.
    And I fess up to the Laudrup.

    I’m probably the rightest 🙂

  9. GoonerB says:

    Top notch Rocky. I have been trying to find the time to produce a post which in many instances could compliment this one. Not anywhere near as good as this obviously, but I will see if I can get some time later to do it. As such I will not cover certain aspects of my thoughts.

    On Arsene’s achievements, for me they have been magnificent. The problem with many people is that they only view his work with us, since the start of his tenure, in terms of silverware. That was an early bonus and to boot was carried out with some of the best football any Arsenal fan has seen ever.

    I would ask what about overseeing us into this new stadium over the last 9 years? It has resulted in a period of great austerity and IMO Arsene has over-achieved through this period to keep us even remotely competitive. Yet some people add all the years together and refer to them as a period of failure, which I find not only sad but very myopic.

    Lets take say the period around 2001 say when we had a marvellous and competitive team. Despite having a great team with great players how big a club were we actually perceived as. Were we bigger than say A.C Milan. No they were considered a traditional giant of world football while we were in the next tier of big clubs but not at that level. We have now progressed to a stage where we are possibly considered even bigger than the Milans of Italy or at least we will be more financially powerful than them moving forwards, which would have been unheard of 15 years ago.

    You mention Ferguson Rocky, and yes his achievements in silverware terms are unsurpassed, but he has done this on the back of huge financial backing. Now I will stick my neck out here and say that, despite being top managers, I don’t believe either Ferguson or Mourinho could have steered us through the last 9 years as well as Wenger has done. Further I would state they would not have considered taking on the project as Arsene did.

    For me both of them are more about them and their C.V than the club and its long-term future. I think both of them would have opted out from taking on this project knowing it would put a large dent in their C.V, but Arsene IMO sacrificed his C.V and reputation with it to steer the club he loved through this period. he literally took one for the team metaphorically speaking.

    Now I have been critical of Arsene’s approach recently, but not in a “he should definitely go way”. It is more that I think he has got certain things very wrong that he didn’t need to get wrong and has in some ways shot himself in the foot. I would like to see Arsene continue and drive us on to a new period of silverware success but I feel the mistakes being made are narrowing down the odds of this happening.

    Arsene has great qualities but also for me certain blind spots which have resulted in the thumping losses we have seen this season. I will not elaborate too much on what I think they are right now, but I will say that I don’t think our failings are predominantly to do with any lack of leadership in the players, the players being lazy or not motivated, or us having a weak defence.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,

    Believe me, there will be much fence sitting and hiding beneath a thin veneer they’ll call being loyal or similar, and I know who they are 🙂

    All I’m saying is that at some point Arsene will go. No surprise there. I certainly won’t blub or anything, as I know he’s had the job I could only dream of. He’s banked many happy memories and will always be remembered as an Arsenal Legend.

    This summer, or in a couple of years. Don’t know. Nothing to do with me.

    Right. Onwards to beating Wigan and then lifting The Cup.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, last point.

    Wigan and Hull/Sheffield Utd stand between Arsene and The FAC. We’ll never get a better opportunity than where we sit right now.

    If he does go this summer, can’t think of a better last match than winning the cup at Wembley. That would be fantastic.

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Are We Witnessing The End Of An Era?

    Rocky, elegantly, asked the question and, equally elegantly, answered it, but did he get the right answer?

    I won’t go into all the good things that Arsene Wenger has done for the club, they are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say that we are where we are due to his genius.

    However, and there just has to be an “however”, for a whole range of reasons I feel that on the pitch we have stagnated over the last several seasons. Wengerball is Plan A, there is no Plan B. Every player purchase has been made with the intention of shoring up Plan A. At the start of the current season it was obvious that we needed a top class goal scorer, money was available, indeed we spent £40 million but on the wrong type of player. Mesut Ozil is a wonderfully gifted footballer but is a mid-fielder, primarily a provider, not the Suarez not the Aguero
    that we needed.

    By the time the January transfer window opened, the need for a goal scorer was even more obvious, Podolski was getting virtually no game time, why was he bought in the first place? Giroud was missing a high proportion of the chances created for him and we signed a “prospect” Sanogo and another mid-fielder who turned out to have a broken back and has yet to turn out on the pitch.

    So, we have a plethora of players who can pass the ball to each other, weaving pretty patterns and bamboozling the opposition but not actually achieving much of anything. At first teams tended to park the bus. Latterly, our previously sky high possession stats have dropped significantly as teams have sussed out how to deny our players the space and time to stitch together those patterns and thus deny us the ball. All the time we stuck to Plan A. Whether we were playing Hull City or Manchester City, Plan A. If we were 1 nil up, Plan A. If we were 3 nil up, Plan A. Six nil down, Plan A.

    Last weekend when we were three nil down to Everton and playing Plan A, Wenger sat mute in the dugout, he could do nothing else, the players only know Plan A. There is no Plan B! There never has been a Plan B! Under Wenger there never will be a Plan B!

    There is talk of a transfer budget of £100 million for the summer, should we trust that to a manager blinkered by Plan A?

  13. TwentyTwelve says:

    Thank you, Rocky. RIP, wise dandan.

    “…the Fairs Cup had wet our appetite and we thought we were set fair to clean up, didn’t happen like that, which is probably why us old uns generally have no time for the no tinpots for 9 years nonsense.” — dandan, April 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm.

  14. RC78 says:

    As mentionned earlier, I would like AW to stay with us another 2 years for now…Why?

    1. He has led us through this transition period and it is only fitting that he gets to enjoy, at last, some funds for transfer dealings and building an even more competitve squad

    2. By buying Ozil last summer, I believe that he has a scheme in mind to build a team around our German playmaker and I would like to see this “Ozil-focused” team that he has in mind and he should be given the chance to put it togeher

    3. Two years for now – why? I think that within this timeframe, AW can achieve success and if he fails to do so, then it will be time to transition into another management era. However, I would like AW to take an “understudy” for these two years that the club could see as a potential AW replacement. Ideally, we would get a legend back to London – someone like Bergkamp or Overmars.

    4. At this stage, I do not see any coach (except maybe Hiddink) that could be available and have the pedigree to take us to the next level so why go in the market for an “ok” coach when we already have a damn good one!

    All and all, I am not too optimistic about the season and failure to win the Cup and qualify for the CL will be a true disappointment so I hope that our team manages to salvage the season but who knows…we can only support it!

  15. seth says:

    This was an amazing article. Well done.

  16. RA says:

    A beautiful Post, Rocket. I loved it. 🙂

    I have, as is my won’t, buzzed busily from blogsite to blogsite, like a giant bumblebee, sipping decorously from the nectar of wit, wisdom and knowledge exuded by the denizens of each site, so that I can later store it for my own selfish pleasure.

    Over a period of time, I have acquired a certain basic knowledge of the bloggers native to each site, and this allows me to buzz around or past those who I recognise as being endemically prone to inelegant vituperation directed at our manager and hone in on those I have learned to respect.

    On then to those with a less combustible temperament, to elicit their considered and reasoned thoughts after what was undoubtedly an eye opener of a game on Sunday.

    Wings a-humming, and antennae attuned to the nuances of each comment, I began to experience a growing sense of dejection, as the hubris emanating from even these most cautious and clear thinking of bloggers became evident, as they questioned the reasons for our change in fortunes since the turn of the year.
    The source of their ire revolved around the searing condemnation of Arsene Wenger and his failure to sign a top quality striker in January, or his tactical ineptness, or his failure to ‘cure’ injured players speedily enough, and so on.

    It was a grim awakening, for instead of collecting nectar I was being weighed down with the poisonous thoughts that permeated the comments of people I have respected and liked for a long time.

    A couple of years ago, I wrote that it was all very well debating the benefits, or otherwise, of having M. Wenger as our manager and I opined that we should stop for a moment and ask ‘why on earth would a man like that, with all the employment options open to him, choose to stay at the club with all the foul abuse and insults being hurled at him by a growing number of disconnected fans?’

    That question is still relevant, and although, despite my recent wobble after the Everton game, I would like Arsene to stay with us in his sunshine years, and enjoy the fruits of his labours after all the handwork he has put in while securing the future of the club, I also worry about the ravages these insults and unfounded criticisms will have on his psyche should he stay.

    I am not qualified to advise him on what he should do, but whether he stays or goes, he will always have a special place in the history of Arsenal and in my memory.

  17. Shard says:

    One of the ‘failings’ and reasons for ‘stagnation’ mentioned against Wenger is that ‘we have the same weaknesses we had x number of years ago’. (although that ignores the improvements we have made. Such as at defending set pieces)

    Now of course Wenger has weaknesses. Every manager does. Does Mourinho play the free flowing football like Wenger’s teams (used to) That’s a weakness. He has the same weaknesses in his game too. Getting in another manager to address these specific weaknesses only works until you see HIS weaknesses. No manager is perfect, the best ones work to a strategy and a plan, and there are weaknesses in every plan.

    How to remove those weaknesses, depends to a large extent on the ability to ensure that the strengths outweigh the weaknesses. Wenger hasn’t had 3 years to work with any team he has had in the EMirates era. And he hasn’t had the money to accelerate the process of positive change.

    2007-08 he nearly led us to the title (with a team that was set to dominate for the next 10 years) But did he get a chance to build on it? No.. He had to start from scratch with further interruptions along the way. 2010-11, another challenge, on 4 fronts. Did he get to build on that team? Not a chance, and since then he’s essentially blown up that team and started again. This time with older players, because he could afford to lose out on the potential resale value as financial strain decreased.

    He’s now built a core that is capable and is once again just a few steps away. Do they lack motivation at times? Yes. It seems so. But they are in a unique position of having the weight of the Invincibles on their shoulders. Every time they lose they are told their season is over. Even when they win they are reminded how they cannot win anything. Same goes for the manager. Like arnie says, the fans have to take part of the blame. Not that that excuses the club, but it does make it harder for them to do their job. It would be so intensely annoying if once again Wenger was denied the chance to build on his team for a further year, so that he can get them to execute his vision on the field, only this time it’ll be because of fans losing patience. If Wenger didn’t lose patience with the club during the era we’ve had, surely the club can keep patience with him too.

    But no, the media narrative has changed the way things are discussed. I thought the problem was a lack of trophies. Wenger hasn’t won trophies…. Now, no guarantees, but will an FA Cup win be enough to keep people happy with Wenger? No, now the narrative has changed again. Like it did with Ozil.. We’ll never buy anyone world class, to Ozil was not the player we needed (I felt we needed more creativity, Cazorla was overworked) and was only a panic buy. Any player that works well is derided as a panic buy, anyone who doesn’t is what Wenger’s real capability and aptitude is. Narrative. It’s intensely annoying.

    I understand people wanting a change. And no, losing Wenger won’t destroy us (because he’s built an institution rather than his ego). But change is coming anyway. Arsenal are entering a new phase now. Things will change. In any case Wenger won’t be here long. I will be ok if he decides to leave. I will be unhappy if that decision is forced on him.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ve got it, RA.

    I want him to stay, I really do, it’s just that I want someone else to do team selection, tactics, motivation and buying.

    So, in line with your idea that he should enjoy his sunshine years with us, how’s this for a plan.

    Get someone else in to do those tedious tasks I mentioned. We could call him The Manager or something. Then, we install a really stylish Posh and Beck’s style wedding golden throne in the sun drenched East Stand, and let The King reign over his Kingdom.

    Everyone’s happy.

  19. RC78 says:

    NG – I agree with you to some extent about the lack of “plan B” options in general but to be fair, we have played a few games where we used a “grinding approach” like against Tottenham recently…

    My main concern is that our squad does not have enough steel and resilience nor the experience of winning. We need players that have won at least a Cup and that can bring this know-how and experience to the squad. We also need more pacy players that make runs past and behind defenders both on the wins and upfront.

    I hope that this summer will see a massive clear-out from our squad and that we will strengthen accordingly.

    OUT:

    The players out for sure:
    Fabianski, Vermaelen, Bendtner

    The players probably out:
    Sagna, Podolski

    The players that need to be out:
    Monreal, Miquel, Diaby, Arteta, Miyaichi

    The player that may leave us: Flamini

    IN:

    The positions where players are needed for sure:
    GK, CD, DM, Winger, Striker

  20. RA says:

    Micky @ 10:32,

    — “there will be much fence sitting and hiding beneath a thin veneer they’ll call being loyal or similar, and I know who they are”

    Who are these trojans? We need to know – or it will be,

    ### MICKY OUT ###

  21. arnie says:

    Fantastic stuff, Rocky. And right on cue from some of the motning banter as well. 🙂

    Let me spill out my thoughts on your post first.

    “Because it seemed unfair to ask him to take much more of this punishment: to watch his team (and by extension himself) humiliated again; to know the vitriol and hatred that would inevitably follow; to turn up to work the next day and have to start all over again.”

    Yes, agreed, but that is not Arsene. And this is The Arsenal, not some other well-diggers from the shadows out there. We plan ahead, we do things differently. Arsene is made of sterner stuff. He can handle criticism, punishment and even bile. He is the greatest Gooner in the living memory of many of us younger folk.

    Unlike RedNose, he will not leave us a rocking boat full of holes, he will fight hard over the transition and leave us a jolly boat rocking in high tide. And a beautiful breeze against the sails to carry it up towards the bright horizon. That is Arsene.

    So, yes, we may be witnessing the end of an era, but that end will not come immediately. There is a transition in place and that transition will happen slowly. Not by bringing in any manager from out there toiling amongst the diggers.

    Yes, I see it exactly as you do. Pushing Arsene out is a very risky strategy. In fact it will be a disaster. Plus, it is unfair, and it is not the Arsenal way.

    Onwards and upwards.

    Now off to read the comments. 🙂

  22. RA says:

    MIcky.

    I like your 11:28 it sounds blissfully serene, and almost bucolic in its aspect.

    What you are really saying is that Wenger should be booted upstairs as a Director to hover over the shoulder of the new incumbent. 🙂

    I believe that he has already dismissed such a scenario, and when he goes — he will be gone — and rightly so.

    Moyes is having a rough time and is not helped by the spectre of Fergie sitting up in the stands giving him the evil eye!

    It just does not work.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA

    “What you are really saying is that Wenger should be booted upstairs as a Director to hover over the shoulder of the new incumbent.”

    Nope. I said nothing of the sort.

    King is what I clearly said, and nothing to do with “Dictators of Football” of whatever you just made up 🙂

  24. Jamie says:

    Another great post Rocky,

    I believe there’s no doubt that Wenger is our best manager ever… so far…

    I can also proudly say that wiyh Mourinho or Ferguson at the helm over the last ten years, we would probably be a mid table team by now.

    My only problem with Wenger is that he still imagines that he’s managing the invincibles. No team (except Barcelona or Bayern) can play the same way against every team and be successful.

    I really want to see Wenger win a few titles with us, but I think his tactical recklessness will continue to cost us in big games. I have no problems with Giroud being our first choice striker, Bayern play with Mandzukic and they’ve already won the Bundesliga, but he wont play every match. we could at least bench him and play Nic B against Cardiff, Crystal palace etc.

    We have two top class CMs in Jack and Ramsey, but Ramsey played every match till he got injured (big surprise).

    So I definitely want Wenger to stay, but I’m not sure he’s the man to take us to the level of Bayern, Madrid etc.

  25. RA says:

    #### MICKY OUT ###

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Won’t budge 🙂

  27. RA says:

    #### BUDGIE MICKY OUT, OUT, OUT ####

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cough. Fence.

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooo, didn’t see you there.

    Here’s a game RA. Winner of each round is he who shouts “fence” first when such a comment appears. I’m one up 🙂

  30. clockendjim says:

    I have been as big a fan of Arsene Wenger as anyone, but the dewey-eyed pronouncements of this article and the comments beggar belief.
    When he arrived Wenger was a breath of fresh air with ideas and principles unheard of in English football. He was helped by inheriting the best defence we have ever seen along with Dennis Bergkamp, but added to the mix with the likes of Henry & Pires to produce magic football.
    Like all empires (ask the Romans) they tumble eventually. This happened to Arsenal’s about 8 years ago. Since when we have paid allegedly the highest ticket prices in the world to see at best OK-ish teams, to those without any fire in their bellies.
    In any other club, Wenger would have been sacked years ago, but this fear of the unknown keeps him in his job. For crying out loud he is not the only manager in the world capable of producing results and any ‘fan’ that can justify and accept such results as the 6-0 drubbing by Chelsea has his head deep in the sand.
    When Arsene eventually goes, I will have a tear in my eye along with every other Gooner, but sadly reality has to be faced.
    I stand back to await the inevitable abuse, but just add that a lot of these comments I am sure are from armchair fans. Just go to a match at The Emirates as I do and listen to what the real fans are saying – they are not happy.

  31. RA says:

    I have given a lot of thought to this, and as the club are increasing the cost of tickets by 3% they should bzzzzz provide us with matching furry black and orange, horizontally striped outfits bzzzzz bzzzzz.

    No wasps need apply!

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Jim,

    No abuse from me for having an opinion.

    Now, for the tear in the eye blubbing stuff.. 🙂

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “I have given a lot of thought to this” followed by bzzzz ‘ing noises.

    Worrying 🙂

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi clockendjim, I’m afraid you’re on the wrng site if you’re looking for abuse 😛

    I don’t think Rocky was intending for this post to turn into a should he stay/should he go debate.

    We’ve got important games ahead and so we need to offer all our support to everyone until the summer break.

    Like Micky, I am not afraid of change. It is possible to change personnel and inject new ideas without being disrespectful to what came before.

  35. RA says:

    clockendjim

    Oh, come off it — you have been a consistent critic of Wenger on more than one blog — and funnily enough, that’s OK.

    You are entitled to your opinion, and at least you are not a fence sitter, but spare us the;

    — “I have been as big a fan of Arsene Wenger as anyone”. Seriously?

    And don’t patronise others who disagree with you by saying;

    — “a lot of these comments I am sure are from armchair fans. Just go to a match at The Emirates as I do and listen to what the real fans are saying – they are not happy.”

    Do you really have the nerve to say that the only “real” fans are those who want Wenger out? Come off it!

    Have your say, and let others have theirs too, without your condescending disrespect for other ‘real’ fans who do not agree with you.

  36. kelsey says:

    Shard said

    “He’s now built a core that is capable and is once again just a few steps away. Do they lack motivation at times? Yes. It seems so. But they are in a unique position of having the weight of the Invincibles on their shoulders. Every time they lose they are told their season is over. Even when they win they are reminded how they cannot win anything. Same goes for the manager.”

    Do you really believe that and who are you refering too.

    I agree with a lot of what you say but AW is nearly twenty years older and the game has changed dramatically for reasons that we all know and have discussed thousands of times before.

    one can’t account for so many repetitive injuries before the season starts but we should have strengthen last Summer, made every effort to either play or sell Bedtner and even give Park away.
    January is another matter as it is far more difficult to get players for various reasons especially if they are CL cup tied,but to settle for Kallstrom on loan is not something AW would have done a few years ago.
    We always allegedly seem to have difficulty in finalising a deal when it’s made public that we are after a player but conversely none of us know the truth.

    Our squad needed strengthening last Summer and to all extensive purposes we failed.

    Ozil is a great player and we will see the best of him next year but IMO that area was not the most important area to splash out 42/43 million on.

    Fabianski,Bedtner,possibly Sagna and Vermaelen and Podolski will leave and then the rebuilding starts again.

    It’s all been badly mismanaged but that has absolutely nothing to do with supporting the club.

    AW now has a massive job on his hands in these final few weeks and I am not sure he can turn the boo boys around.

  37. RA says:

    Hi Rasper, 🙂

    Change will come, regardless. What is being discussed is a pinprick in the grand scheme of time.

    Whether Wenger goes this summer or in two years time will go in a blur. ‘Real’ fans or no!

    And incidentally, Micky is being intolerant bzzzzz of me and my bzzzz stripes!! Have word with him, please!

  38. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RC78 @ 11.32, That match against Spurs wasn’t Plan B, it was headless chickens playing at being fire-fighters. Our inability to retain possession of the ball for more than a few seconds at a time meant we were pushed further and further back. We never gave ourselves the option of an “out ball”. There was never anyone looking to receive the ball in space.

    It wasn’t just the lack of a Plan B, Plan A was in shreds and nobody new what to do about it, least of all the manager.

  39. RA says:

    Kelsey, @12:40

    — “conversely none of us know the truth.”

    and

    — “It’s all been badly mismanaged”

    Interesting!

  40. RA says:

    Hi NG, @12:43

    I am confused.

    We beat the Spuds twice. Headless chickens? Eh?

  41. kelsey says:

    Now RA

    those two phrases you quote are taken out of context 🙂

    I still believe AW is a good manager but has too much control over too many things.

  42. Norfolk Gooner says:

    As of this moment my gut instinct is that Wenger, one way or another, will go at the of the season.

    There are six possibly seven games to go, all against sides that should be relatively easy to beat.

    Wigan at Wembley? Of course we should beat them.

    West Ham, Hull City, Newcastle United, West Brom and Norwich? Where’s the problem?

    Sheffield United or Hull City again? Why not?

    Win seven games on the trot and we have won The Cup and secured Champions League football for yet another season. All is well with the world and Arsene signs for another couple of years. Lose on Saturday, drop a few points and the Europa league beckons. Wenger will allow his contract to expire and depart Arsenal for good.

    Hand on heart AAers, can you honestly see us winning seven on the trot?

  43. RA says:

    Out of context, Kelsey? Me, myself, I — now would I be so mischievous as to do that? 🙂

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi NG, actually its out of our hands now. If Everton win every game we won’t make top 4. They have a couple of difficult fixtures ahead, (against man city is going to be the hardest) but they could be a match for anybody the way they played on Sunday. All we can do is our very best in every game and hope lady luck smiles on us.

  45. kelsey says:

    In a word Norfolk….No

    If it comes down to the last game of the season we well may have to beat Norwich for CL football and they might well have to beat us to avoid relegation.

    WBA won’t be easy either.

    West Ham,Hull and Newcastle won’t have much to play for.

    Wigan are very beatable but they couldn’t be playing us at a better time for them.If we beat them we should beat ither Hull or sheffield United.

  46. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, Actually we beat Spurs three times, but RC78 and I were referring to one particular game when we won 1 – 0 away, defending with our feet in the ditch. 😀

  47. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    The fact AW has not yet signed his contract means that there is a big decision to be made.

    If the team produce another performance like the one against Everton, then I suspect he will leave at the end of the season, because that would almost certainly confirm we would be out of the top 4.

    I think not qualifying for the CL is the key in his staying or not — we will see.

    If he does stay, it will only be for two more seasons, at most.

    Rocky is right — either way, if it isn’t the end of an era, it is the beginning of the end of an era.

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi all,

    Yet another corker of a post from Rocky, but like many well intentioned things it has given the anti gang another opportunity to give their expert opinions. I’ve listened to and read so many views on the “demise” of Arsenal due to Arsene Wenger that you would think I would have become hardened to and impervious to the various shades of criticism. However the effect on me is to drive me away from blogging and back to sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences with just close family and acquaintances.

    Maybe the events of time will soften my feelings – but if the anti Wenger sentiment finally causes him to pack his bags and leave then I will become his travel companion.

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp, I’m discounting Everton, They will no more win all their remaining games than I believe we will.

  50. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    I know — I am feeling cheeky this morning/afternoon.

    The 0:1 was a bit like the Alamo after we scored, which made the win even sweeter! 🙂

  51. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, It won’t be “the anti Wenger sentiment” that makes him leave, rather his own inate sense of the right thing to do.

  52. RC78 says:

    – We need two wins in the Cup – should be feasible but never know with our team…

    – For the EPL, I think we will beat Hull, Newcastle and West Brom. I think that we will find it harder against West Ham and Norwich so I think that we will take maybe 2 or 3 points out of these two matches. So I see us gather 11-12 points before the season ends. Hopefully, enough to keep us 4th.

    – Mismanagement of the team in terms of transfers:
    — Summer clerance:
    —- Who would you like to see out?
    —- Who will be out?

    We need to get rid of some players, really badly. We really need to add grit, pace, winning experience and quality to our squad.

    Players like Abate, De Sciglio, J. Lescott, A. Williams, Nagatomo, Cambiasso, Muntari, Schnderderlin, El Sharaawy, Menez, Rémy and Jackson Martinez have the credentials to join us, for example and most of them are affordable and will not be retained by their clubs if a good offer comes in.

    Szecesny – Abate, BFG, Kos, Nagatomo – Ramsey, Cambiasso – Walcott, Ozil, Ox – Jackson Martinez

    ? – Jenkinson, Williams, Lescott, Gibbs – Flamini, Wilshere – Rémy, Cazorla, Gnabry – Giroud

    + Viviano, Zelalem, Rosicky, Menez, Sanogo

    This might work out….

  53. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, The Alamo had a rather difficult conclusion as far as Jim Bowie and the former US Congressman Davy Crocket were concerned. They didn’t have the option of resigning, they were dead. 😀

  54. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, continuing The Alamo theme, perhaps Arsenal’s pre-match song should be El Degüello the “Throat Cutting” played to signify that we would give “No Quarter” to the opposition. It would scare the pants off most footballers.

  55. RA says:

    Good suggestion re: El Degüellore, Norfolk, but we would need sub-titles! 🙂

  56. Rasp says:

    Here’s a visual representation of the polar differences between bloggers 😛

  57. RA says:

    Rasper,

    Yup, I can see where Micky (fence) is coming from now — Cooper all over!! 🙂

    1:1

  58. Shard says:

    kelsey

    Yes I believe that. I am referring to the general perception around the club, and not since just the past few games where we’ve been playing like ****. There have been constant stories of Arsenal in crisis for years. Do you believe they haven’t had an effect on any discussion on Arsenal, regardless of which side of the fence or on it you might be? Because I think that has had a very real effect on how the club is perceived. And in business, perception is king. And that perception brings its own added pressures. Like I also said, it doesn’t excuse the club’s failings, such as they are, but it makes it more difficult for them..

    As for the weight of the Invincibles, I believe that a club which wants to keep its traditions and values its history, carries an in-built weight of the past with it. Whether for the positive (this is probably what helped us get top 4 against the odds sometimes) or for the negative.

    “but to settle for Kallstrom on loan is not something AW would have done a few years ago.”

    No. In the past he might have signed a Denilson, or promoted someone like Olsson. This time he wanted to buy someone like Bender or Gustavo, neither of whom will move in January, but might next year. Signing someone on loan is a short term fix, not a long term project. A long term solution, as opposed to a project that he could have signed, is what he will look for next year (in my opinion)

    I also disagree that we failed at strengthening. We bought Flamini at DM. We bought Ozil. Not one single person thought our midfield was understocked at the start of the season. We did fail at signing a striker. Which is why we didn’t sell Bendtner. I still think even with money we’ll struggle to get an elite level striker. They are really few and far between, and will very rarely be available and want to move to us. I do expect upgrades in attack however, despite Chelsea and Real Madrid also looking for strikers potentially. Ozil wasn’t the highest priority for the season, but he is a world class player who we can build around. Plus with Walcott, we wouldn’t have felt the lack of a striker as acutely. With Higuain (eg) I think our season would then have depended on Cazorla’s form and fitness. Only Suarez could potentially be both a creator and a scorer, hence why he was prioritised ahead of Higuain, and Ozil.

    As for closing out deals. I agree with you. But I think that essentially comes down to money. Although if Chelsea and City decide to really push to sign a player we can’t compete, with additional money now, we should do better here since they can’t offer huge wages to everyone. (Although Chelsea have stolen Willian from Spurs, and Salah from Liverpool, while using Lukaku to take points off their rivals, so they are likely to try to mess with our targets too)

    I don’t think all those players leaving means rebuilding. (even though they definitely need to be replaced) Only Sagna is an established member of the side. Vermaelen and Podolski aren’t more than squad players. Fabianski will be tough to replace only because good 2nd choice GKs are rare.

    Turn the boo boys around.. Nope. No one can do that. Because their criteria for success keeps changing. But as long as he can get us the results we need, it should be alright. Easier said than done though, and you are right, it is a massive task.

  59. chas says:

    Feckin genius, Rocky.
    Off to read the comments.

  60. LB says:

    Superb comment Shard

  61. Shard says:

    PS. According to Schalke, we did bid a ‘substantial amount’ for Draxler in January. They wanted the full 37m. You could criticise Wenger for that, but he spent 42.5m on an established player, proven quality. He wasn’t willing to spend 37m for an unfinished prospect (injured too I think). It’s easy to say with hindsight that perhaps he should have bought him. Certainly it’s tempting to think it would have been much better to just have splurged. However, wasn’t one of the criticisms of him that he buys too many youngsters who aren’t ready? We don’t have unlimited budgets, and any purchase this year impacts our ability to purchase next year too. (especially if CL football isn’t assured…Gulp..)

  62. arnie says:

    sorry chums, no time to contribute. I will only say two things.

    First, as Shard says I have said earlier, the fans have to take a share of the blame. Unfortunately that includes us, in the collective.

    Second, I believe firmly in making positive change. YES WE CAN, AND WE WILL!!!!!

    Bollix, maybe, bonkers, maybe (or is it Jonkers! 😛 ), but there you go!

    Can we place our hands to our heart and lokk forward to winning all teh games this season. Yes we can, and there is no reason why we wont! For me, constructive criticism, yes, trying to find ways forward, yes, but lack of belief! NO.

    COYRRG!

  63. chas says:

    I refuse to take any blame, collective or otherwise.

    Micky, Micky, Micky
    OUT, OUT, OUT.

  64. arnie says:

    Chas: perhaps there is no blame to take a share of, only credit for what continues to be a fantastic journey! Dont believe me? ask the Spuds!! Not ambitious enough? ask Barca or Bayern supporters!!! 😛

  65. RA says:

    One of the frequently mentioned whines I have heard is that we do not have enough cover.

    Now that is possibly true, though I cannot fathom how we can get a quality player to sit around just ‘covering’ the first choice, or becoming match fit when needed after an extended period on the bench – but that is another subject.

    Just look where we have the most players to cover for each other — none other than midfield.

    Wishere, Flamini, Cazorla, Arteta, Oxo, Ozil, Rambo, Rosicky, Podolski, Kalstrom, Diaby.

    Now I know the latter two either joined late or are long term injured, but that is 11 players for three or 4 positions, leaving Theo and Giroud as the front guys.

    Plenty of cover there you would think, but where have we been most badly hit?

    Yes indeedy, midfield — Oxo, Rambo, Ozil, Wilshere, and of course Kalstrom and Diaby and others for shorter periods of time.

    So of 11 midfield players on the books, we have lost 6 to long term injuries, not to mention Theo, depending on how you classify him.

    Interesting?

  66. RA says:

    Chas,

    Now you are talking!

    #### MICKY, MICKY, MICKY — OUT, OUT, OUT ####

  67. RA says:

    arnie,

    You think we should all take a ‘share’ of the blame for something we individually did not do?

    Then – “Chas: perhaps there is no blame to take a share of, only credit”

    I think you have been working too hard! 🙂

  68. arnie says:

    ha ha, Redders, hard taskmaster. 🙂 No contradictions this time I think (not smoking anything suspicious yet), but not enough attention towards expressing myself with clarity.

    There has been two camps over the past week or so. Let us call these the Blame and the Celebration camp. I am being careful, perhaps too careful, not to place myself into any of these. 😛

    My point is that, if you belong to the Blame camp, you cannot absolve yourself, as a fan, from part of the blame. If on the other hand, you think you are not to blame, perhaps you looks at the positives and take inspiration from these to move forward!

    Then there is the question of the individual and the collective. Just because an individual did not support an unjust war, just as an example, does not mean that they can, in the collective shirk responsibility for a war that their country went into. That “holier than thou” position is not sustainable, in my view!

  69. RockyLives says:

    Hello everyone – thanks for the comments.

    Apologies if the Post was a bit pompous/sentimental and not entirely coherent.

    I’ve been trying to figure out my thoughts since having that “end of an era” moment while watching us tank at Everton.

    During and immediately after the game my thoughts were “it’s time for him to go”, but, as always, time offers a bit of perspective and I realized I still want him to stay and be successful.

    It’s just that I think there is a real chance he’ll go anyway.

    Time will tell…

    And just to be a contrarian…

    MICKY, MICKY. MICKY – IN, IN, IN

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’re a model blogger Rocky. So wise 🙂

  71. Rasp says:

    Hi arnie @ 3;28

    I take it this is the expansion of the point you made yesterday. I believe leaders have to be leaders and accept what comes with the job – do you know much about Neville Chamberlain? 😛

  72. Rasp says:

    Micky, IN, OUT, IN, OUT, SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp vid ROLF

    Up Cooper 🙂

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    I’m either IN or OUT, never both, so to you I say

    FENCE

    2-1

  75. arnie says:

    Yes, Rasp, but I have a bit more to say. In between meetings, back in a bit to say more. 🙂

  76. chas says:

    So I’m responsible for the Falklands war.
    Feck that for a game of sailors.

    Am I in the Celebration camp?
    I can assure you I haven’t been celebrating anything.

  77. RA says:

    Hi Rocky,

    Be careful or Micky will call you a splintered ass — sitting on fence etc.

    Anyway, I got there first and that puts me 2:1 up against him.

    [Fear not, I do not know what I am talking about either, which is just as well, as the only one taking notice of me is arnie, and he is barmy] 🙂

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    “I don’t think Rocky was intending for this post to turn into a should he stay/should he go debate”

    This comment smacks of favouritism.

    I’ve written posts where five minutes after publishing, people are discussing recipes for Canard de Rouen à la Presse, and you’ve never seen fit to come to my rescue.

  79. Rasp says:

    😆 Micky, the trouble is I never know which side you want to be rescued on because you’re always sitting on the fence 😕

  80. RA says:

    No, no, arnie – that’s OK – you have confused us/yourself quite enough!! 🙂

  81. RA says:

    Fence, Rasper,

    That puts me 3:2 ahead of Crooks mate, Micky.

  82. Rasp says:

    I quite like a camp celebration – is that the same thing?

  83. RA says:

    Rasp,

    I am not sure your advice to Micky to shake it all about is necessarily a wise thing to have said. 🙂

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hell’s teeth Chas.

    I read your comment and was quivering like a bleed’in aspen thinking it might have been directed at me.

    Can’t have that, what with you and me being Bezzies and so on.

    ps Am I still on for all your CL away ticks next term?

  85. RA says:

    You would have to ask Rocky about ‘camp’ Rasp, he wears cowboy boots and a stetson! Oh God, No! That’s my riding apparel — hello sailor!! 😀

  86. Rasp says:

    Don’t worry Redders, Micky has it all safely confined in his wet suit

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    3-2!! Where did that come from?

    That’ll be called creative accounting I suppose 🙂

  88. chas says:

    Which comment, NBF?

  89. chas says:

    Rest assured, your ticket to FC Ferencvaros Fence-Sitters is safe.

  90. RA says:

    You will get a split arse grin for that Chas!! 🙂

  91. RockyLives says:

    A bloke came down our street the other day taking everyone’s front gate off the hinges and throwing them in the back of a lorry.

    I didn’t like to say anything in case he took a fence.

  92. RA says:

    Erm, for clarity, I was talking about Chas’s 4:43. 🙂

  93. chas says:

    Haha, not sure if split arse is an acceptable on here.

  94. chas says:

    So what’s going to happen in the big game tonight?

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    FC Ferencvaros Fence-Sitters

    ROLF

  96. chas says:

    Wigan v Millwall at 7.45.
    I wonder what the Wigan line-up will be like?

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, hang on a minute NBF, are you calling me a fence sitter?

  98. chas says:

    Micky
    Can you explain this one to me?

  99. chas says:

    Micky
    I know that you didn’t get where you are today by accepting that shades of grey ever existed.

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    No, but you could explain the Swingometer while you’re here.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    True Chas. Hence the very bumpy ride through life, which has left me with a very sore arse.

  102. Rasp says:

    ….. too much camp celebration?

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    🙂

  104. chas says:

    One of the sad side-effects of our recent collapse has been that it has made the swingometer not look like the complete old pile of pony that it actually is. 🙂

  105. Fine stuff Rockmeister !.

    I read all the comments on why Arsene should stay and I read all the comments on why he should leave !. If I`m totally honest, both sides sound right when reading them and I can sway from one day to the next in what side I think is right. My current feeling is that, I don’t believe he can take us any further, but as I say, tomorrow I might think differently, so I`m glad that the decision is not mine !.
    I`m not a person who only has one thought on something, I`m not stubborn, if someone gives me free advice I listen and I think it`s better than my ideas on anything, then I`m happy to change.
    If true from what I`ve read, then Arsene is as stubborn as they come and with a wage of £7M per year, I`m sure he will endure some abuse !.
    I do believe though, that the current majority shareholder, Mr Kroenke, will not sack Arsene Wenger while the club is sailing along in it`s state of a self-sufficient model !.
    Arsene has always seen out a contract and Kroenke has never sold a Sports business, so they are a like in many ways !.
    Kroenke was probably more impressed with Arsene`s degree in Economics than he was with his footballing trophies !.
    So if Arsene wants to go it will be when he decides too !.
    I`m waiting in the wings to take over on £7M per year and guess what ?………you can abuse me as much as you like………actually, you can do that for nothing !. hahaha

    Cockie In !.

  106. chas says:

    Cockie Cockie Cockie
    Out Out Out

  107. chas says:

    Maybe not, on second thoughts.

  108. Rasp says:

    😛 cockie, chas

  109. Cheers chas !. Just took your advise and I`m now being escorted out of Tesco`s and they are not interested in my imaginary friend, chas, who instructed me !.

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cockie

    Things are actually far simpler than that.

    Arsene’s contract runs out in the summer. If the Board think they have a replacement who is better, sign him up. If not, don’t.

    Best Man for the job. Easy.

  111. RC78 says:

    The “not enough cover” issue:

    – GK – we are covered 🙂

    – RB – we are covered 🙂
    – CB – we have 3 CB but we need 4, esp. given the fact that BFG, Kos and Vermaelent have missed a chunk of games due to injuries and suspension
    – LB – Monreal has not been reliable this year, unfortunately…so our cover is not really up to scratch

    – DM – Flamini is our only true DM so IMHO, we do not have cover at DM
    – M – we have plenty of players there, it is even an overload. Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Diaby, Eisfeld! We do not need that many and I am hoping that AW will offload some (Arteta and Diaby sold and Eisfeld on loan) of them in the summer.

    – RW – Walcott being covered by Ox and Gnabry, which is fine
    – LW – Cazorla being covered by Podolski, which is not fine since Poldi is a forward and Miyachi – not fine!

    – Playmaker – Ozil being used on the left mostly, which is not fine and Cazorla playing better in the hole than on the left but vastly used on the left, what a waste!

    – Striker – Giroud, being covered by Sanogo and Bendtner – not fine either!

    So basically, we have a squad that is too deep in the midfield and too thin every where else except on the right side…

    All and all, I think that the “issue of not being covered” is actually a real one and should not be underestimated

  112. RA says:

    A belated chuckle, Rocky :-

    — “I didn’t like to say anything in case he took a fence.”

    So that will be;

    RA 4 Fences
    Micky 2 Fences
    Rock 1 Fence
    Cockie 1 Dongle or is that a Dingle?

  113. kelsey says:

    7.5 million a year and loses to wigan…I say WENGER IN 😉

  114. RA says:

    Blimey, Cockie,

    You were in Tesco when Chas said Cockie, Cockie, Cockie – Out, Out, Out — just as well he did not say In, In, In – you would have got 7 years. 🙂

  115. RA says:

    You playing with your crystal balls again, Kelsey? 🙂

  116. Runs out in the summer, Mickymeister !………..now where`s that scented Chanel de Cockie creme de la creme writing pad !.

    ” Dear Bastard “………oops, start again………..”Dear Mr Gazidis”………..

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bad news I’m afraid Kelsey. Your days as Site Manager are over. Your two week reign is over.

    At The Coup Meeting, Raddy said you were beyond useless.

    ps I was the only one who voted for you 🙂

  118. Hahaha Redders……..if Rasp would have added his…….shake it all about……it could have been 10 years !.

  119. GunnerN5 says:

    Am I the only one on AA that has never even thought the words “Wenger Out” – How alone am I?

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cockie

    I just knew you would have poncey writing paper 🙂

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5

    I don’t think anyone has ever said he should be fired, just whether he or the board want/choose to renew a completed contract.

    Worth a chat.

  122. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, I think you are probably the only one who has not had the thought at one time or another if they’re honest.

    Hi RC78, sorry we’re not in a serious mood today to discuss your points, everyone is trying to keep cheerful at the moment. I’m sure we will return to sensible debate soon.

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    I could facilitate that by popping out for a while 🙂

  124. GunnerN5 says:

    MD89,

    I don’t mean just today or even just this season, you see the thought has never entered my head.

    Some may think that I’m naïve or a Wenger fantasist, but neither is true. I base my opinion entirely on his record of achievement at Arsenal – which most likely opens me up to ridicule – so be it.

  125. Rasp says:

    You’d have to take most of the others with you Micky 😕

  126. GunnerN5 says:

    I will likely offend the fairer sex – but here goes.

    How many men does it take to open a beer?

    None. It should be opened when she brings it.

  127. GunnerN5 says:

    Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman?

    Because a woman who can’t even afford a washing machine will probably never be able to support you.

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5

    Ridicule? That’s silly

    The biggest problem is exactly what you highlight. His record. He has been amazing through really tough times, and the thought of finding a replacement is very scary. We’ve played the best football and so on. Thing is, it will end, and that may be this summer, or perhaps in two years. Who knows.

    However, when someone has been in a job for so long, his contract is almost up and a new one unsigned, discussions will take place.

    Throw into the equation that he’s 64, and those discussions are inevitable. As long as the chat is civilized, I can’t see the problem.

  129. LB says:

    Never for a milli second has it entered my mind that I would want Wenger to leave and my view remains the same.

    I have been critical of certain team selections but I am not naïve enough to not realise that I am being critical with the use of hind sight.

    We have had the best part of this season, being top for most of it gave us the moral high ground, for the time being you guys can bang your drums, call for heads to roll but mark my words the tables will turn again.

  130. ArseneAround? says:

    D’YA think me putting a tenner on Wigan might change our luck/form ?

  131. GunnerN5 says:

    A very civilised viewpoint LB.

  132. I had weird moment at work today, after finishing my round at Charlestown ( Gooner Chef ), getting back, my boss said to me….” A decent London club has inquired about our delicious pies ( Lamb , Mint & Potato, Ghicken Gammon & Leek, Steak & Ale, Pork Apple& Cider, Homity, Blue Cheese Mushroom & Walnut, Veniso, Red Wine & Red Current Jelly, Beast of Bodmin, Steak & Cornish Blue, Chicken Chorizio & sweet Chilli Sauce and soon ! ) then stepped out of his seat to show me an email, my heart sank !. He has a request from the Spuds for some samples !.
    He then asked how I would feel delivering to them !. After a few expletives, I turned my thinking around to the fact the Spuds would be paying me money and I would get to see my friends and family in London whilst there !.
    |It`s weird as I have consistently asked him to send samples to Arsenal, but he said they would be too expensive for Arsenal`s interest. Still not sure how the Spuds are interested ?….I shall be having words and dig further !.

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cockie

    This is an opportunity. As driver, you are in control of the chiller temperature knobs. Warmed meat can be deadly and bacteria develop at alarming speed.

    Do be careful 🙂

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Beast of Bodmin 🙂

    Right, walkies for me.

  135. True Didit……..who shall I get the pies to first….the players or the fans ?…….fcuk it, I have two hands !.

  136. GunnerN5 says:

    MD89,

    Believe me I understand all of the considered views, its the holier than thou “experts” that get my goat. After every defeat, injury or the closing of a transfer window I dread blogging as the comments are totally predictable and always redundantly repetitive.

    What I fear the most is my reaction to the posts – most times I can barely contain my inner thoughts – and I am not an irrational person by nature – feisty yes, irrational no.

  137. Beast of Bodmin……….local Beef and Beast of Bodmin Ale with herbs !…………saves GIE getting a pint, he can get drunk by eating just the pie !.

  138. GunnerN5 says:

    If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first?

    The dog, of course. He’ll shut up once you let him in.

  139. ArseneAround? says:

    This is Sir Arsene’s record V sperz …
    RECORD OF ARSÈNE WENGER AS MANAGER AGAINST TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
    As manager of … Matches W D L Goals ø Goals PPM
    Arsenal FC Arsenal FC 42 20 16 6 82 : 53 1,95 : 1,26 1,81
    Gesamtbilanz: 42 20 16 6 82 : 53 1,95 : 1,26 1,81

    Sorry its out of synch, he’s lost 6 not 16! He lovez beating them for personal reasons of course and in boxing, if you beat someone three times you can put them on your mantelpiece! ..so put the spurstics in our empty trophy cabinet I say!ARF!

    (no lasgna cookie?☺)

  140. Said I could change my mind at the drop of a hat !.
    With his record against the Spudz, we might as well keep him !.

    Arsene In….Cockie Out !.

    I`ve seen a lasagne sandwich, but not a lasagne pie !.

  141. If my dog was barking at the back door and my wife yelling at the front door……..I would stick a Bonio up the wife`s arse and tell the dog…………..” mummies got a Bonio for you ! “……being chased around the house would be an alternative to a leaf blower and saves on co2 emissions !.

  142. chas says:

    I seen a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
    I seen a needle that winked its eye.
    But I been done seen ’bout everything
    When I see a lasagne pie.

  143. chas says:

    Isn’t it usually, ‘daddy’s got a Bonio for you’?

  144. chas says:

    Where’s BR to assure me that Ibra will score an away goal?

  145. chas…..Bignoseabitch isn`t playing, he`s injured !.

  146. chas says:

    Ah, no wonder BR’s not so confident!

  147. chas says:

    Does that mean Cavani doesn’t have to play on the wing?

  148. When did Marten Kemp stop dying his hair ?. I think grey suits him !. Like a young Kelsey !.

  149. Thanks Rocky for the post. However hard it is I think we will all have to come to terms with a life without Arsene. What would be very sad is for him to be hounded out and not having decided for himself that ‘this is the right time’.

    Two years ago we had a hugely disappointing end to the season with no FA cup semi final to look forward to and I wondered then how much more punishment he could take. He loves this club and only wants the best for us but for some(many) reasons its not working out.

    I loved being TOTL all those weeks, we really put everyone’s backs up didn’t we 🙂

    I just hope we can put out a team of fighters in our remaining games and find some pride in our performances.

  150. Now some serious stuff from me. I’m going to have to have surgery on my fractured shoulder possibly on Thursday and will be in hospital until at least Monday. Rasp is going to need some help with the blog. We needs posts for tomorrow and Thursday please.

    Can all administrators give Rasp a heads up in the mornings if they’re available to help publish. If you think you can help and you have my mobile number then text me and I’ll pass it on to him.

    Thanks ………. don’t forget about a post for tomorrow

  151. arnie says:

    oh dear, what a day!!!!! sorry, I have not managed to participate much. Except, as Redders says, to confuse everyone a little bit.

    OK, AA ers lie on different shades of grey with regards to where the line on constructive criticism should be drawn. Late stalwart Dandan, GN5 and neamman are at one end. I think there is no one here on the other end (I could be wrong? 😛 ), but plenty of such loonies out there populating the other blogs.

    Personally, I draw a sharp distinction between what is constructive criticism, that is is looking at the positives and recognising the negatives as a means towards improvement, and what is unconditional negativity..

    Personally, I feel we have transgressed the boundary a bit too much over the recent past. This is no doubt a temporary transgression brought about by indifferent, indeed humiliating, performances. Nevertheless, expressing an opinion of no hope with the current team and manager when there are battles yet to be won this year is a step too far for me. I can see where GN5 comes from on these issues, and as for myself, I get quite twitchy (uptight? 😛 ) as well.

    It is also true that our discourses on these matters have been picked up in the external world (other blogs, etc.). No doubt the pretext is to spew bile on our team and manager. This was never the original intention and this is not what such opinions are used for on this site. Nevertheless, we should be vigilant and act somewhat responsibly. Times are hard for the team, and they deserve our full support. There are still 7 games to be played. We know we can win all the games.

    In the collective as fans, we therefore hold some responsibility for our actions. As fans on AA as well, we have some responsibility. Particularly since the external world, or parts thereof, think of us as responsible Arsenal fans, and we should act as such in a way supportive of that notion.

    Dont know whether (or how far) I could get the bollix across, but there goes!

  152. It’s ok you can carry on talking I’m going to have my dinner

  153. arnie says:

    oh dear, have to rush, back laters. 🙂

  154. arnie says:

    That has nothing to do with your dinner, Peaches. And good luck with the operation.

    Rasp, I do not know whether I can be of any help, but if there is anything, just shout. I will be travelling Friday and Tuesday and otherwise doing boring stuff 😛 , but you would know where to find me if need be.

  155. jjgsol says:

    Friends.

    The mass hysteria that has gripped the Gunners blogosphere seems to get more extreme with every disappointing result.

    Even previously rational fans seem to have been infected, so that they spew out irrational nonsense.

    I am pleased, that, in the main, the contributors of this blog seem to have kept their feet well planted on the ground.

    So we lost 3 0 to Everton. Disappointing performance. Certainly.

    If one looks for reasons, rather than excuses, surely the situation does not seem that bad.

    Firstly, we were beaten by a team that played at home and very well, after 5 or 6 victories, so they were full of confidence, which on its own, is like an additional player.

    I think they will agree that all of their goals were somewhat fortuitous.

    The first looked offside to me, and Naismith was lucky that the ball bounced off WS straight into his path. The ball could have gone anywhere.

    The second certainly was offside, and the 3rd a lucky own goal, after what many might have regarded as a clear foul on Sagna.

    Everton played us, as so many other teams have done, by sitting back and hitting us in the break. They defended well, but, in truth, how many saves did WS have to make?

    They had, after all only 6 shots on target.

    Our attack was, as we have seen so many times, muted against a well disciplined defence, about to counter attack at speed.

    Any team without 5 of its normal first 11, is likely to find it hard going, for a couple of games. If you have to do it for 6 or more games, then that is difficult.

    If Rooney and Mata were absent for 3 months, together with Vidic and 2 of the top first team midfielders were missing as well, how well would manure do over that period, even with their squad players?

    Take away Toure and Aguero for 3 months, together with Kompany and 2 of their first team midfielders missing as well, would Man$ity not find it a struggle, even will all their squad players.

    The reason why Walcott (our top scorer last season), Ozil, Ramsey (still one of highest scorers for a midfielder, and he has been absent for more than 3 months), Wilshire (upon whom the whole country are basing their hopes for a good World Cup) and Kosielny are regular first team choices is because they are the best we have.

    Whoever else we may have to play, will still not be the best.

    I really do feel that a reason why we have struggled against the better sides, is simply because so many of our best players are not there.

    People may scoff at that, and say it is not an excuse and that we should have adequate cover, but I will respond that it is not an excuse, it is a reason.

    The more the fans moan and groan, the more that is likely to affect the players and their confidence.

    I hope that the players have been banned from the blogs this week, as what they might read is likely to have an adverse affect on how they play on Saturday.

    The team need our support and encouragement. I trust and hope that they get it when they need it.

  156. LB says:

    I am a friend of Martin, good Arsenal man but clearly a word is needed to be had. I cycle with his brother (Gary) on a weekly basis, he has a similar view…………….another word to be had.

    Not a happy bunny here.

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh do cheer up LB

    We’re 4th and on the way to Wembley.

    Plus, we don’t have Mourinho, and Chelsea might, just might, go out tonight.

  158. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, a good read Rocky and a question as you say we have all asked ourselves.

    Now here’s a conspiracy theory (haven’t read all the comments so someone else may have already put it in):

    Wenger has already told the players he leaves at the end of the season.

    Could that be why they are saving themselves to give him a goodbye piece of silverware?

    Could it be why we are seeing lacklustre performances?

    Or could it be that we are just a bit short right now?

  159. VCC says:

    Hope all goes well with the operation Peaches.

  160. arnie says:

    Great stuff today from everyone. Really enjoyed reading all the comments. Apologies, my comments today did not take on board many of your comments because I did not have the opportunity to follow everything. 🙂

  161. arnie says:

    Rasp: post in nuts, just in case any fillers are required. 🙂

  162. kelsey says:

    Morning

    Sorry to hear you need an op peaches. As I said my wife had the same shoulder fracture but more in the socket of the shoulder so didn’t require surgery but is still having physio and has to take calcium pills. they reckon it will take a year to get about 80% of her arm’s function back. I hope yours heals quicker.

    With regards to moderating I have repeatedly asked for either you Raddy or Rasp to look behind the scees as I can’t access everything such as deleting or approving or trashing comments nor changing my spelling.I also can’t see all IP addresses,sometimes I can use this function otherwiise not but yesterday I could but not my own.

    GIE you said months ago you thought AW might leave this season,do you want to elaborate.

    Another issue is that apart from Ramsey for the first half of the season, our play makers such as Santi,Ozil,Rosicky and even Wilshere have a poor return in scoring and the Ox hasn’t played much.

    If Giroud is misfiring we are missing these players to score vital goals as our scoring rate has not been as it was.

    All this is again a change of tactics needed for each game or is it that maybe less tippy tappy and more direct shooting required.

  163. kelsey says:

    See,I can’t spell nor can I correct my spelling mistakes. 🙂

  164. JM says:

    Our Plan A:

    “Go out there and play with freedom of expression”

    regardless of:

    (1) the ability differences (skill, physical, mental) between 1st team starters, squad and reserve players.

    (2) the overall quality of the opposition (starting line-up, their impact bench, their stadium and pitch condition at match day – if playing away etc).

    (3) match officials handling the match (The best referees/ linesmen do meticulous studies on players they will be scrutinising in up-coming matches). Likewise, the good players and team managers should be doing vice versa.

    Interview with Pierluigi Collina : –

    [http://www.egonzehnder.com/the-focus-magazine/leaders-dialogue/other/politics-and-society/interview-with-star-soccer-referee-pierluigi-collina.html]

    There are more to these …. that our team have been found wanting.

    However, there are still matches in PL and the FA Cup to be played for and win. We get behind our team till the end of the season, before we discuss in more details what could happen next …….

  165. RA says:

    Well said, JM, and very clearly put.

    It is not so much a Plan A, it is simply Arsene Wenger’s Philosophy.

  166. LB says:

    Micky

    I am guessing you never bothered watching the clip of Martin ranting above (wise choice) had you done so you would have understood my comment. Nothing to do with Arsenal, on that score things could obviously be better but no real reason to be an unhappy bunny.

    In fact, I couldn’t be a happier bunny — I am off to Mallorca with my son, my brother and a couple of friends in two hours to cycle for a week.

    COYG

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB

    I specifically went back looking for comments from a “Martin”.

    Now it’s clinked. Kemp. 🙂

    Have a great time.

  168. kelsey says:

    Well put JM

    However with match officials there is no consistency and I for one don’t go along that they are biased against us.That they are inconsistant is an entirely different matter.If I thought there was an agenda against Arsenal only or the most bias against us more than any other club,it would be reasonable to think the game is currupt,in fact it may well be as has already been proved in Italy and Germany,but that has coincided with betting on numerous options on football,which was only introduced a short time ago as opposed to horse racing or greyhound racing.

    One can put any slant that one likes on the teams low esteem and confidence and poor form especially in our last 11Pl matches (13 points out of 33) and numerous theories have been put forward but none of us know the real reason.

    I haven’t seen one regular contributer on AA say that AW must go or has he been insulted.

    I agree we must wait for the end of the season regardless what happens but what is wrong in expressing ones disappointment in recent games at our performance.
    I have my own ideas about what should happen,but I am just a supporter.

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches

    Thinking of you in a clean and innocent way.

    Hope it goes well.

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    General comment

    I can’t see a difference between discussing getting a new right back or striker and discussing getting a new chairman or manager.

    Human being’s deserve manners and politeness. That’s all.

  171. arnie says:

    motning all.

    I went all the back as well looking for comment(s) by Martin. 😛 oh dear!!!

  172. arnie says:

    Micky: I read your link to the helicopter money article. Not that much ROLF. 😛

  173. arnie says:

    Just got myself in a vicious cycle of boring work. Have to somehow break the cycle but cannot do so at the moment. Looks like I might even miss the FA Cup semis. 😦

  174. arnie says:

    For a change, something interesting today. Meeting this person today (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_M._Friedman). Very excited. 🙂

  175. arnie says:

    Andre Marriner officiating the FA Cup semifinal this weekend. No, not our game, the other one. 😛

  176. arnie says:

    That’s 6 in a row. Now I will shut up. 🙂

  177. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    I said it was a rubbish article with some strange ideas, but I like the crypto currency stuff.
    I also think it’s a great concept for small countries like Iceland, which led me to Scotland and you.
    but, and here’s the thing, you are the economics expert 🙂

  178. Thanks Micky 🙂

    LB – have a great time.

    I have posts in the cupboard so you can all relax.

    JM – very good point about our Plan A.

    I think that our Arsene is just not ruthless or rather he prefers not to be and too often our team play in that way too 😦

  179. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    Meeting Friedman. Wow. Impressive.

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah, but Peaches, Arsene used to employ very ruthless players, so he does know what it takes.

    I think he has been overly effected by the Barca Way. I wrote my feelings on that in a post here a few years ago, and said how much I thought that system hinged on having the worlds’ best player ie Messi.

  181. arnie says:

    not an expert, Micky, just someone curious about economics. 🙂 Yes, could be an interesting idea, but two issues: A, not relevant at the moment even if there is independence, since Scotland will look to have the £ or Euro, and B, internet penetration would be very low. 🙂

  182. arnie says:

    Micky, not Milton Friedman (he is dead), but Ben Friedman is also an absolutely top guy. Very excited.

  183. White Bear says:

    Peaches – all the best for today! Theo had the same operation, so we are all hoping that after the op you will become a brilliant footballer 🙂 Good luck xx

  184. arnie says:

    Peaches: hope you get some rest and good recovery. 🙂 these things take time.

  185. arnie says:

    OK, Peaches, looking forward to a game of football in the near future, then. 🙂 Theo against Peaches, Evonne officiating. 😛

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    I know. Friedman as in Bank Regulation expert 🙂
    Last point, I know the crypto thing could never happen. Just love the idea.

  187. I hope no one was upset ( apart from LB 😆 ) by my vid` of Martin Kemp`s rant .
    It doesn`t mean I share his views. I wouldn`t have bothered had it not been a celebrity Gooner !.
    I am neither an ” In Arsene we trust !”…..or an …….” In Arsene we rust ! “……more of a …..In Arsene we thrust ! “….as I think he looks quite fetching in his dodgy puffer jacket !. hahaha

  188. Yes, good luck peaches !. If you need a shoulder to cry on , then I`m your man, as mine is quite muscular from the weight training !. 😀

  189. arnie says:

    Micky: 😛 Yes, that’s right. very exciting. I have suddenly started getting call-ups to all sorts of events on unconventional monetary policy, about which I know next to nothing. Exciting, but worrying as well. I have to spend of lot of time preparing myself. 😛

  190. The consultants have changed their mind, they’re not going to operate this week, they’re going to give it another week to get a bit better and then decide 😦 aaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh

  191. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Away all day yesterday and missed a fine days blogging. I have to reduce my already reduced work hours 😀

  192. Big Raddy says:

    Oh Peaches. 😦

    According to MP

    “Some things in life are bad
    They can really make you sad
    Other things just make you swear and curse
    When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
    Don’t grumble, give a whistle
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best…
    And…

    …always look on the bright side
    of life…”

    You know how to whistle, Don’cha?

  193. LB says:

    Cookie

    My disappointment was not aimed at you, far from it, my disappointment was aimed at the rant.

  194. trailet says:

    For over a year on this blog i’ve been slating Wenger and it makes me smile that i was right and all of you were wrong.
    Their are still a few who are delusional but they are blind and beyond help.
    Results will get worse next season because the clown will still be allowed to run team affairs.
    If you want to save Arsenal Football Club from this madman voice your protests loud and clear and make it be known that Wenger is no longer wanted at Arsenal.

  195. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Sniff, Sniff, What a pong!

  196. Big Raddy says:

    Trailet. .

    The mere fact that you choose to insult people who disagree with you is grounds to entirely dismiss your comment.

    ….. are you writing this during your milk break?

    And as far as I know you have never been on AA before.

  197. Big Raddy says:

    NG. I don’t think so but it does pong!

  198. Sorry to be late ………….

    New Post ………………..

  199. Sav from Australia says:

    Nice post Rocky. My opinion, gut feeling. He’s not leaving unless the Board get a rush of sh*t to brain. Doomers mean nothing to him. And the players have all been comitting long term

    The players need to take responsibility. The ref cheating cannot be ignored its effects are bloody qquantifiable. But facts are ignored by foolish folk and the great man is blamed. If he goes now its sin and AFC will regret it. If he stays, give him the money to compete then let’s talk.

  200. Vinay says:

    For me the man is a legend and a genius and we need to accord him the due respect he deserves.
    Is it time for him to leave? maybe yes, its a tough call but i doubt he will continue because he has always maintained that as long as he has the fans backing he will continue and this season has been very bad in terms of the abuse he has gone through.
    He has made his mistakes but then who has not. His tried and tested methods are not working or apparently it is not giving the kind of results he has before. I do believe he is stubborn on a few things and that is because he was successful with them before.
    Wenger needs to accept that he is swimming against the tide and its impossible to change the money driven game nowadays.
    Should he leave? i think he should, hopefully it should be like this- Wembley May 17th after lifting the FA cup he takes the mike and says this- i gave it all and i think i am done, thank you and good bye

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: